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Merits, Volume 2, Issue 4 (December 2022) – 15 articles

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12 pages, 273 KiB  
Article
Gender Disparity in the Wake of the Pandemic: Examining the Increased Mental Health Risks of Substance Use Disorder and Interpersonal Violence for Women
Merits 2022, 2(4), 445-456; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits2040031 - 02 Dec 2022
Viewed by 2501
Abstract
The global COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted women compared to men in the workplace, creating gender disparity associated with mental health. In occupational fields where women comprise nearly three quarters of the workforce, outcomes of increased depression and psychological distress have resulted, creating [...] Read more.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted women compared to men in the workplace, creating gender disparity associated with mental health. In occupational fields where women comprise nearly three quarters of the workforce, outcomes of increased depression and psychological distress have resulted, creating even greater gender disparity in terms of mental health risks. These include an exponential increase in substance use associated with mental health issues for which continued stigma and negative perceptions of mental health conditions and substance use have prevented the pursuit of treatment. Further, the increased occurrence of interpersonal violence experienced by women during COVID-19 also presents considerable comorbidity with mental health issues. Research also shows a significant relationship for women between severe intimate partner violence and substance use. It is imperative that gender disparity associated with mental health risks be addressed within the current crisis and that we better prepare for the future to ensure inclusive and accessible resources within workplaces and improved behavioral health outcomes. Full article
18 pages, 2510 KiB  
Article
The Ontology of Work during Pandemic Lockdown: A Semantic Network Analytical Approach
Merits 2022, 2(4), 427-444; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits2040030 - 01 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1463
Abstract
Digital nomadism is emerging as a growing segment of the labor force. It is an insightful framework for understanding work during the pandemic and perhaps into the post-pandemic era because it construes work to be related to the notion of space, time and [...] Read more.
Digital nomadism is emerging as a growing segment of the labor force. It is an insightful framework for understanding work during the pandemic and perhaps into the post-pandemic era because it construes work to be related to the notion of space, time and the instrumentality of work. The present study is about how people understand, relate, and make sense of their work during the early phase of the pandemic lockdown in 2020. The study will report difficulties that arise from work digitalization during the lockdown, and the study conceived the various dimensionality of work to cope with work challenges. Semantic network analysis (SNA) was used to aid the analysis of the contents from four European countries. One hundred and sixty respondents are interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire. The words and word pairs from the SNA resulted in keywords identified for the four countries. There are common word hubs between the countries, such as hubs revolving around the meaning of ‘time’ and ‘meeting’. However, there are also unique hubs such as ‘task’, ‘office’ and “colleagues”. The results provide a cross-cultural comparison of how people adopted to work change. The organization of the word pairs in the network provided the narratives. Full article
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19 pages, 1087 KiB  
Article
Developing Women’s Authenticity in Leadership
Merits 2022, 2(4), 408-426; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits2040029 - 15 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2829
Abstract
In this exploratory case study, we examined women’s lived experience as leaders and their participation in an in-person leadership development program. More specifically, we studied how women perceived an in-person leadership development program through a lens of authentic leadership. Our method for gathering [...] Read more.
In this exploratory case study, we examined women’s lived experience as leaders and their participation in an in-person leadership development program. More specifically, we studied how women perceived an in-person leadership development program through a lens of authentic leadership. Our method for gathering information included individual interviews, field observation, and archival data. The interviews focused on particular episodes and stories of the participants’ leadership experiences in their professional life and learning experiences through the leadership development program. The findings from this study indicated the importance of self-awareness of leader identity and increased confidence, building their authentically balanced approach, and creating a social network through collective learning. This paper concludes with future research and practical implications for women leaders, senior human resource development professionals, and senior managers who design and develop women leadership training programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leadership in the Workplace)
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8 pages, 490 KiB  
Perspective
Designing Workplace Training for Generational Differences: Does It Matter?
Merits 2022, 2(4), 400-407; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits2040028 - 09 Nov 2022
Viewed by 2675
Abstract
There is little to no empirical evidence that designing instruction to match individual learning styles increases learning. Similarly, the same is true when people are grouped into “generations”. If generational differences exist, the size of their effect is small and does not affect [...] Read more.
There is little to no empirical evidence that designing instruction to match individual learning styles increases learning. Similarly, the same is true when people are grouped into “generations”. If generational differences exist, the size of their effect is small and does not affect the effectiveness of training. Still, educators and trainers overwhelmingly think differentiated design based on learning styles and generational differences cause students to learn more. Why? I argue that there are other outcomes to instruction besides effectiveness. If instruction matches an individual’s preferences, content and skills can often be learned more efficiently and certainly appeal more to the learner than if it does not match their preferences. It is argued that both efficiency and appeal of instruction are important outcomes for students even when effectiveness is not significantly changed by matching the instructional approach to the learner’s preferences. Full article
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13 pages, 828 KiB  
Article
Dark Triad, Impulsiveness and Honesty-Humility in the Prisoner’s Dilemma Game: The Moderating Role of Gender
Merits 2022, 2(4), 387-399; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits2040027 - 02 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1662
Abstract
(1) Background: The aim of the study was to investigate if the Dark Triad (DT)—which includes psychopathy, Machiavellianism and narcissism—impulsiveness and Honesty-Humility (HH), can predict individuals’ intended behavior in a one-shot Prisoner’s Dilemma Game (PDG) and whether this relationship is moderated by gender. [...] Read more.
(1) Background: The aim of the study was to investigate if the Dark Triad (DT)—which includes psychopathy, Machiavellianism and narcissism—impulsiveness and Honesty-Humility (HH), can predict individuals’ intended behavior in a one-shot Prisoner’s Dilemma Game (PDG) and whether this relationship is moderated by gender. (2) Methods: A cross-sectional correlational design was used, examining regression and moderation models. A total sample of 197 working adults from Greece (64% women, Mage = 35.13 years old) completed a one-shot, simulated PDG, the Dirty Dozen scale, the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale and the Honesty-Humility subscale from the HEXACO NEO-PI. (3) Results: Significant correlations between overall DT score, narcissism and psychopathy scores and impulsiveness and all three DT traits, as well as the overall DT score and honesty-humility, were identified. Overall DT scores were found to increase the odds of defecting, while gender significantly moderated the effects of Machiavellianism, HH and impulsiveness on the participants’ behavior in the one shot PDG, leading to different effects for men and women. (4) Conclusions: Gender moderates the relationship between certain personality traits and behavior in social situations involving interdependence and/or moral decision making, such as the PDG, leading to changes both in terms of the statistical significance and the direction of the effect. Simulated social situations could serve as situational judgment tests in an effort to develop a better understanding of the underpinning mechanisms between personality, gender and social behavior. Full article
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13 pages, 301 KiB  
Article
Comparing Psychological Wellbeing and Work-Related Quality of Life between Professional Groups within Health and Social Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic in the UK
Merits 2022, 2(4), 374-386; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits2040026 - 02 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1664
Abstract
This paper shared the compared results on the psychological wellbeing and work-related quality of life amongst health and social care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. Health and social care professionals within nursing, midwifery, allied health professions, social care and social [...] Read more.
This paper shared the compared results on the psychological wellbeing and work-related quality of life amongst health and social care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. Health and social care professionals within nursing, midwifery, allied health professions, social care and social work occupations working in the United Kingdom (UK) during the pandemic were recruited. Repeated cross-sectional online surveys were conducted during two time periods of the pandemic (May–July 2020 and May−July 2021). A total of 4803 respondents completed the survey. The findings revealed that over the pandemic, psychological wellbeing (SWEWBS measure) and work-related quality of life (WRQoL scale) scores significantly decreased in all five occupations (p < 0.001) with midwives having the lowest scores on both scales at all time points. Respondents were found to significantly (p < 0.001) use of negative coping strategies such as behavioural disengagement and substance usage. Analysis of variance revealed a statistical difference between occupations and wellbeing across 2020 and 2021, while work-related quality of life was only statistically significantly different in 2021. The findings revealed that due to this decrease, there is a distinct need for more support services and flexible working conditions within health and social care services, to improve wellbeing and work-related quality of life. Full article
12 pages, 2745 KiB  
Article
Public Leadership Challenges in a Complex Context
Merits 2022, 2(4), 362-373; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits2040025 - 02 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1642
Abstract
The objectives of this study are to identify the importance of teleworking during the COVID-19 pandemic and, evaluate the future development of this working form, characterize the process, identify its benefits and challenges, and present some solutions to deal with telework. To this [...] Read more.
The objectives of this study are to identify the importance of teleworking during the COVID-19 pandemic and, evaluate the future development of this working form, characterize the process, identify its benefits and challenges, and present some solutions to deal with telework. To this end, the following research questions were formulated: (1) What areas of telework had the most significant impact during the COVID-19 pandemic? (2) What is the impact of telework on productivity? (3) What are the positive and negative aspects of teleworking? (4) What solutions do leaders propose for telework to intensify in the future? The sample for this study consists of 159 participants holding managerial positions. The data analyses were completed and allowed us to study the challenges of leadership in teleworking in direct public administrations. The results indicate that productivity is maintained, although productivity has decreased in the education sector. The positive aspects found were flexibility, better time management, that communication became simpler, and greater motivation. As negative aspects, we found changes in leadership, communication, and lack of material. To minimise the negative aspects of teleworking, the leaders essentially mentioned mixed-work (face-to-face and teleworking), distribution of appropriate material, training, teleworking regulation, and productivity control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leadership in the Workplace)
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20 pages, 1062 KiB  
Article
Investigating Employees’ Responses to Abusive Supervision
Merits 2022, 2(4), 342-361; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits2040024 - 01 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1167
Abstract
Abusive supervision has been found to negatively impact employees. Extant literature based on the Social Exchange Theory (SET) has suggested that employees who experience abusive supervision are likely to engage in workplace deviant behaviors to respond to abusive supervision. However, from the standpoint [...] Read more.
Abusive supervision has been found to negatively impact employees. Extant literature based on the Social Exchange Theory (SET) has suggested that employees who experience abusive supervision are likely to engage in workplace deviant behaviors to respond to abusive supervision. However, from the standpoint of power distance, employees do not always respond to abusive supervision in negative ways. This paper aims to investigate employees’ perceptions and reactions to abusive supervision over time as well as factors that can impact their coping strategies to abusive supervision. By conducting two studies, including (1) a lagged-designed study with path analysis and mediation and moderation tests and (2) an experiment with independent sample t-tests, I examine employees’ reactions to abusive supervision over time as well as factors that impact their reactions. Results suggest that, over time, employees are likely to reconcile with their abusive supervisors. Furthermore, employees are less likely to reconcile with their abusive supervisor after engaging in workplace deviant behaviors. Furthermore, employees’ need for harmony (NFH) and the perceived value of the relationship with the supervisor (VOR) can impact their reactions to abusive supervision. This paper moves beyond the Social Exchange Theory, the overarching theory in abusive supervision literature, expands our understanding of abusive supervision, and discusses employees’ responses to abusive supervision over time. Contributions, implications, and future research are discussed. Full article
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11 pages, 246 KiB  
Article
The Impact of COVID-19: The Phenomenological Effect of Burnout on Women in the Nonprofit Sector and Implications for the Post-Pandemic Work World
Merits 2022, 2(4), 331-341; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits2040023 - 20 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2146
Abstract
Research shows that 67% of the nonprofit sector workforce in the United States are women and worldwide, women account for the majority of employees in the nonprofit sector. Identified as service provider professionals, these women provide the care and nurture of countless people [...] Read more.
Research shows that 67% of the nonprofit sector workforce in the United States are women and worldwide, women account for the majority of employees in the nonprofit sector. Identified as service provider professionals, these women provide the care and nurture of countless people and yet often neglect themselves as they serve others out of passion or a strong work ethic. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, service provider professionals responded to an increased demand for programs and services with fewer resources. The increase in the demand for programs and services with a decrease in resources contributed to stress for these workers, leading to the phenomenon of burnout. To address the phenomenon of burnout, we propose that nonprofit organizations need to be systems thinking organizations and consider implications at the organization’s micro, mezzo, and macro levels. Three themes emerged from this study, self-care at the micro level, psychological safety at the mezzo level, and reviewed and revised policies and procedures that address the unique needs of women at the macro level. The article considers the nonprofit sector, burnout, and women in the nonprofit sector and its implications for organizations at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. Full article
17 pages, 305 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Current Technologies Essential for Health and Safety in the Ghanaian Construction Industry
Merits 2022, 2(4), 314-330; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits2040022 - 18 Oct 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1713
Abstract
Technology has undoubtedly played a vital role in improving construction procedures and processes for many years. However, its application for health and safety monitoring and management has not been fully exploited in the Ghanaian construction industry. This study aims at exploring the current [...] Read more.
Technology has undoubtedly played a vital role in improving construction procedures and processes for many years. However, its application for health and safety monitoring and management has not been fully exploited in the Ghanaian construction industry. This study aims at exploring the current technologies essential for health and safety in the Ghanaian construction industry. Three specific objectives are set: (1) to identify the current health and safety technologies important in the Ghanaian construction industry; (2) to examine the level of utilization of the current health and safety technologies in the Ghanaian construction industry; (3) to identify the barriers to the adoption of the current health and safety technologies in the construction industry. A structured questionnaire is used to solicit the views of 123 construction professionals who double as health and safety officers in large construction firms in Ghana. The questions are developed through a critical comparative review of the related literature. The data are analyzed via descriptive and inferential statistics. The findings reveal that key among the current technologies important for health and safety in the Ghanaian construction industry are wearable safety devices, geographic information systems, sensing technologies, virtual reality, and BIM. The findings further reveal a moderate level of usage of the key technologies among construction professionals in Ghana. Key among the barriers to the adoption of these technologies for health and safety in the Ghanaian construction industry are the factors ‘excess costs related to acquiring new technologies’, ‘weak innovation culture’, ‘lack of continuous training of the workforce in adapting to the technologies’, ‘resistance to change with aging workforce’, and ‘little or no governmental support and regulations for the use of the technologies’. The findings from this study provide insight into the ever-increasing state-of-the-art technologies used in the construction industry. Full article
10 pages, 524 KiB  
Article
Total Productive Maintenance, Affective Commitment and Employee Retention in Apparel Production
Merits 2022, 2(4), 304-313; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits2040021 - 18 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1548
Abstract
The success of the implementation of advanced manufacturing systems, such as total productive maintenance (TPM), depends on employee commitment and retention. This study investigated total productive maintenance (TPM) practices implemented by apparel production firms, and the effect of these practices on affective commitment [...] Read more.
The success of the implementation of advanced manufacturing systems, such as total productive maintenance (TPM), depends on employee commitment and retention. This study investigated total productive maintenance (TPM) practices implemented by apparel production firms, and the effect of these practices on affective commitment (AC), and employee retention (ER) of operators on the production floor. The study adopted the survey research methodology. In total, 411 operators from apparel production firms responded to the study. The responses were analyzed using statistical methods. Four hundred and eleven responses were received for the survey and data were analyzed using statistical methods. The findings suggest that TPM practices significantly positively affect AC. Affective commitment mediates between TPM and ER. The success and sustainability of TPM implementations depend on the firm’s ability to retain trained operators and keep their AC high. The study has several implications for theory and practice. Full article
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11 pages, 332 KiB  
Article
Work Ability Mediates the Relationships between Personal Resources and Work Engagement
Merits 2022, 2(4), 293-303; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits2040020 - 17 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1046
Abstract
Research on job resources suggests strong links with work engagement, but less is known about its association with personal resources and possible mechanisms linking personal resources to work engagement. Based on the job demands-resources (JD-R) model and lifespan development theories, we develop and [...] Read more.
Research on job resources suggests strong links with work engagement, but less is known about its association with personal resources and possible mechanisms linking personal resources to work engagement. Based on the job demands-resources (JD-R) model and lifespan development theories, we develop and test a model of the indirect relationships between personal resources (i.e., adaptive coping in the form of selection, optimization, and compensation and personal health in the form of subjective health complaints) and work engagement through work ability. To test this model, a sample of employees (n = 520) was recruited from a panel of employed older (i.e., aged 40+) workers. Results suggest that work ability mediates the relationships between selection, optimization, and compensation and subjective health complaints and work engagement. Full article
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23 pages, 811 KiB  
Article
Working from Home and the Division of Childcare and Housework among Dual-Earner Parents during the Pandemic in the UK
Merits 2022, 2(4), 270-292; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits2040019 - 12 Oct 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3920
Abstract
This paper examines whether the expansion of working from home led to a more equal division of domestic work during the pandemic. We use unique data of dual-earner heterosexual couples gathered during the first lockdown in the UK when workers were required to [...] Read more.
This paper examines whether the expansion of working from home led to a more equal division of domestic work during the pandemic. We use unique data of dual-earner heterosexual couples gathered during the first lockdown in the UK when workers were required to work from home by law. Results reveal that mothers were likely to be carrying out a larger share of domestic work both before and during the lockdown. When fathers worked from home, compared to those going into work, a more equitable division was found for cleaning and routine childcare. Furthermore, homeworking fathers were up to 3.5 times more likely to report that they increased the time they spent on childcare during the lockdown compared to before. However, we also found evidence of homeworking mothers having increased their time spent on domestic work, and doing a larger share of routine childcare, compared to mothers going into work. Overall, the study shows that when working from home is normalised through law and practice, it may better enable men to engage more in domestic work, which can in turn better support women’s labour market participation. However, without significant changes to our work cultures and gender norms, homeworking still has the potential to enable or maintain a traditional division of labour, further exacerbating gender inequality patterns both at home and in the labour market. Full article
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12 pages, 545 KiB  
Article
Navigating Work Career through Locus of Control and Job Satisfaction: The Mediation Role of Work Values Ethic
Merits 2022, 2(4), 258-269; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits2040018 - 02 Oct 2022
Viewed by 2303
Abstract
This study examines navigating work careers through self-concept (locus of control and work values ethic) and job satisfaction within the postindustrial work environment of the 21st century. Career construction theory conceptualizes one’s career as a process of responding to a changing environment through [...] Read more.
This study examines navigating work careers through self-concept (locus of control and work values ethic) and job satisfaction within the postindustrial work environment of the 21st century. Career construction theory conceptualizes one’s career as a process of responding to a changing environment through self-concepts to more actively construct their careers. The SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic further highlights the importance of individuals’ self-leading their work journeys. The study indicates that work values ethic is an important variable in further explaining the relationship between locus of control and job satisfaction in our sample. When the effect of work values ethic is removed, the association between locus of control and job satisfaction is insignificant. We expect this research to spur further efforts by individuals to improve their understanding of the intricacies among their intrapersonal traits, needs, and abilities to better navigate their work careers with application to newly defined workplaces as a result of COVID-19. Our results also inform the practice of career education and counseling. Full article
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17 pages, 1310 KiB  
Article
Effect of Transformational Leadership on Contextual Performance Mediated by Work Engagement and Moderated by Mindful Awareness
Merits 2022, 2(4), 241-257; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits2040017 - 30 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2769
Abstract
This study aims to investigate the relationship between transformational leadership and transactional leadership, as a job resource and contextual performance as a work outcome, mediated by work engagement and moderated by trait mindful awareness as a personal resource. Some researchers highlight work engagement [...] Read more.
This study aims to investigate the relationship between transformational leadership and transactional leadership, as a job resource and contextual performance as a work outcome, mediated by work engagement and moderated by trait mindful awareness as a personal resource. Some researchers highlight work engagement as a mediating mechanism between job resources and individual outcomes, while others suggest that personal resources may improve employees’ awareness of the job resources around them and, in turn, improve their performance. Notably, empirical evidence shows that the moderation of trait mindful awareness is not synergistic, but compensatory, along with the “substitutes for leadership theory.” Data were collected from employees in the United States via the online Amazon Mechanical Turk platform. A total of 282 respondents were randomly assigned to one of two vignettes—one reflecting transformational and one reflecting transactional leadership. The findings revealed that the positive relationship between transformational leadership and contextual performance is partially mediated by work engagement. Mindful awareness significantly strengthens the relationship between transformational leadership and work engagement. This study contributes to the literature by providing further empirical evidence on the inconclusive contextualization of mindful awareness as a personal resource. Full article
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